Naomi Osaka’s refusal to do press conferences should be the exception to the rule – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-06-04 22:32:13 –


The reason why Mr. Osaka was absent from the press conference was justified. But as the pandemic ends, relationships with the sports media should return to normal.

Naomi Osaka was fined for not attending the press conference and missed the French Open.

This week’s Naomi Osaka / French Open / Press Access tournament has multiple layers. Some are complex and some are simple. They all seem to remind us one more thing that civilization peaked before social media.

We say we are destined to angry and skid on the information superhighway without guardrails and launch memes and emojis as artificial substitutes for real thoughts and emotions until the Earth is completely off. Not.

Especially in situations like Osaka, it should be focused on providing understanding and empathy for the pressures young athletes are facing. It feels too often when the story diverges into something entirely different. Masu.

On May 26, four days before the French Open, 23-year-old Osaka, who won four Grand Slam tournaments, announced on Twitter: She won’t talk to the press in the tournament..

“I often felt that people were indifferent to the mental health of athletes. Whenever I see or attend a press conference, this sounds very true.” “If If the organization keeps saying, “If you don’t report, you’ll be fined,” and you think you can keep ignoring the mental health of the athletes at the heart of their cooperation, I just have to laugh. “

The sport failed the reaction, paying more attention to her tone than what she actually said. The French Open was worried she might set a precedent among other players, but fined her for not speaking to the media after the first round at a post-match press conference. Other tournaments threatened to impose similar penalties.

Osaka had long admitted that he was fighting social anxiety disorder when he became one of the best tennis players in the world, but he frankly explained her decision in another post on Monday.

“I don’t downplay mental health or downplay the term,” she writes. “The truth is, I’ve been suffering from depression for a long time since the 2018 US Open. And I really had a hard time dealing with it. Anyone who knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone who sees me in a tournament You will often find that you are wearing headphones that help relieve social anxiety.

“I’m not a natural public speaker, and I feel a great deal of anxiety before speaking to the media around the world. I get [really] It’s tense and stressful for me to always try to provide the best answer possible. So, here in Paris, I was already vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it would be better to take self-care and skip the press conference. “

It cannot be overlooked that Osaka’s second statement actually demonstrated the rare value of social media. It gave her a forum to clarify and further explain her decision. Also, the most important layer of this story is far more important than any other aspect and reminds us of the well-being of the charismatic and attractive young athletes who struggled within themselves. must.

Her explanation should have been very sympathetic. In some corners it was. But important conversations, especially on social media, especially the mental burden of athletes, were caught up in the same turmoil as discussions about the value of press conferences, athletes’ obligations to the media, and the types of reporter access.

Don’t start These are related topics, especially important for notepad-worthy sports media reporters, even at the bottom of this story. The problem is that they are often ignorant and based on inaccurate prejudices.

One of the things that is not well taught in classrooms in this country is media literacy. Those who generalize this to “media” or blame “media” have no or no interest in understanding the different roles, obligations, and nuances of multiple gigs in sports media alone.

No matter what Skip Bayless does, whether it’s an objective beat writer, a subjective columnist, a color analyst, a local news reporter, or a talk show host, many other media jobs are under the same broad umbrella. Should not be placed. It’s like suggesting that all restaurant and hospital employees do the same job. But it’s very easy to generalize, and as far as you understand, ignorance has little impact on social media.

Post-event press conferences can be ridiculous if the subject is not involved and the quality of the “talk about” question is low. However, for beat writers who deal with teams and sports on a daily basis, it is often of fundamental value to just convey important information to the reader.

These meetings are even more valuable in the event of big news. Reporters can ask questions that readers and viewers are wondering about. When Celtics fans were blinded to the news on Wednesday Danny Ainge resigns as president of basketball management And Brad Stevens Transfer from coaching to front office, The team has made available to Ainge, Stevens, and owners Wick Grousebeck and Steve Pagliuca. Colleague Gary Washburn immediately asked Ainge three questions: Is this related to health? Are you planning to work in another front office soon?And did you know you’re leaving during the season? With Washburn’s question Ainge’s answer to them ended up correcting the incorrect information It was flying around on social media.

At the press conference, you may be able to get a glimpse of the individuality of the athlete. I had to smirk last night when the Dodgers Clay Bellinger, who had just returned from an injury, joked that he couldn’t give a cohesive answer to his question due to lack of practice.

Another layer, a media issue that is far greater than the importance of press conferences, is general access. Reporters who have been forced into personal zoom interviews since the pandemic began in March 2020 warn that access to clubhouses will never be the same in the post-Covid world. Washington.・ The post reported on Friday as follows. The NFL is most likely to close its locker room in the 2021 season.

This wasn’t good for reporters and fans, and I was embarrassed to see Twitter, where some journalists claimed that access had diminished after being talked about in Osaka. The locker room was built with relationships and rapport. Questions are asked to find answers to questions that are not found on spin-focused sites like Players’ Tribune, where the sparks of the most informative stories begin. This is by no means the only or latest example, but an article by my colleague Julian McWilliams in August 2020 about Jackie Bradley Jr.’s mother’s career as a police officer.

With access to the locker room, the cause of the Celtics discrepancy this season would have been easier to diagnose and refine. There would have been more specific information to share with our readers about JD Martinez’s 2020 struggle. And, as Cam Newton pointed out at Zoom at the end of the Patriots season, he never met the reporter interviewing him in person.

Of course, a distance was needed during the pandemic. In their credit, the local team sought to provide the most collaborative alternatives available. But when everything else is open, the locker room will eventually need to be opened as well. Otherwise, losing access means a corresponding loss of information and insights for the fans.

After she explained the situation, no one should have demanded that Osaka fulfill its obligations as a media for the French Open. In the name of empathy, there must be exceptions to access to the media. Reporters need to work even harder to explain the pressures athletes face. Hopefully we can do that well enough so that athletes can understand that journalists aren’t trying to catch them.

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